A Guide to Insurance in the USA

2 minutes

InterExchange Insurance Information


Accident & Sickness Insurance
A Guide to Using Insurance in the United States

Health care in the U.S. is very different from health care in other countries!


Non-Emergencies – You must have a general practice doctor whom you can see for non-emergency accidents and illnesses like a cold or sore throat.

Emergencies – You should only visit urgent care centers, hospitals or emergency rooms if there is an actual emergency, such as a broken bone or serious cuts and burns. Costs for using emergency rooms for non-emergency illnesses can be up to 75% more expensive than visiting a general practice doctor.


Accident & Sickness Insurance Guide:

Before Arrival:

  • Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy.
      • Be sure to understand the maximum amounts of coverage, the services/procedures that are covered, deductibles, co-pays, etc.
      • Basic accident & sickness insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, etc.). If you require regular care, a more comprehensive health insurance policy will be required.
      • Bring any medications that you take on a regular basis with you and ask your doctor to write a prescription if you will need a refill in the U.S.
  • Find a general doctor in your U.S. city who accepts your insurance policy.

After Arrival:

  • Locate and record the addresses of the urgent care centers and emergency rooms near your housing.
  • Speak with your host employer about Workers' Compensation Insurance coverage.
      • Please inform your employer immediately after being injured so that they can file a Workers' Compensation claim.
      • Workers' Compensation Insurance should cover you if you are injured on the job.
  • For a non-emergency accident or illness:
      • Call your doctor's office, discuss your symptoms and schedule an appointment.
  • For an emergency:
      • Go to an urgent care center or emergency room.
      • If you are going for emergency care by yourself, try to go to an urgent care center rather than an emergency room, if possible. They can provide you high-quality emergency care but at a lower cost.
      • If you require an ambulance, you will be taken to the nearest emergency room.
  • Keep records of all receipts and paperwork from your medical visits.
  • In order to receive reimbursement, most insurance providers require you to submit a claim form for each incident.
      • Make copies of all receipts and claim forms before sending them to your insurance provider.
      • Send your claim form to your insurance provider as soon as possible after your visit.

For more insurance information and documents:

  • Please visit our insurance page where you can:
    • Read the details concerning your coverage and policy.
    • Search for a general doctor in your U.S. city.
    • Reference common American insurance terms, like co-pay, deductible and claim form.
    • Review the emergency medical contact information, insurance documents available for download and useful phone numbers for customer service and claims information.
    • Remember to submit a claim form for each incident. Even if the doctor sends a bill to our insurance provider, you MUST also submit a claim in order to receive reimbursement.




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